Caring for a senior loved one with dementia tends to start off simply and gets more challenging as time goes by. In the early stages of caregiving, you might not need much help, but you should also avoid trying to do everything on your own. The later stages of dementia often require adding caregivers to your support team. The La Mesa home care experts from Coast Care Partners offer this guide to getting help with caring for a loved one with dementia, no matter which stage of the disease he or she is in.
Decide What Type of Help You Need
Your loved one may need help remembering to take medications, or he or she may need to be monitored around the clock. Sit down and analyze your loved one’s daily routine to find areas where you could ask someone to help. Your loved one’s physician may also have recommendations for responsibilities you can delegate, such as driving your loved one to and from appointments.
Think About the Future
When you reach out for help, it’s also beneficial to have future needs in mind, as this allows you to choose caregivers who can stick with your loved one for a longer time. For instance, a professional in-home caregiver can start out just providing assistance with medication management or companionship. Then the caregiver can switch to providing more intensive levels of care, such as help with personal hygiene, as your loved one’s needs require them.
Consider Self-Care Needs
Right now, your loved one is your biggest priority. However, you also need to remember your health influences your ability to provide care. Make sure to also ask for help that allows you to see your own doctor and take care of your mental health. Respite care is an option that gives you extra time during the week when you can tend to your needs while someone stays with your loved one.
Make Specific Requests
People are more likely to respond positively to your requests for help when you make specific responsibilities known. Many people might offer to help out but never do because they’re not sure what needs to be done. When you ask a family member or friend for help, use specific terms. Asking someone to pick up groceries once a week is more likely to be met with an affirmative response rather than just asking him or her to help out now and then.
Choose Diverse Sources of Support
As well-meaning as people are, you must also remember things happen that could cause them to drop their responsibilities back into your lap. For instance, a family member may get sick or have a car problem that stops him or her from being able to visit your loved one. Make sure the support network is diverse enough to handle any possible contingency. Adding professional caregivers to your family support system is a great way to be certain someone is always ready to handle your need for help.
Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging, even for the most well-prepared families. Fortunately, the team at Coast Care Partners is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia home care. La Mesa families can rely on the compassionate professionals at Coast Care Partners to provide high-quality care for their aging loved ones. Call us today at 619-354-2544 to learn how we can help your loved one age in place in safety and comfort.